Prelim Snippets 30-08-2019

1.International Day Against Nuclear Tests

Context: The International Day Against Nuclear Tests was observed on 29th August, 2019.

  • The International Day against Nuclear Tests is observed on August 29.
  • It was established on December 2, 2009 at the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly by the resolution 64/35, which was adopted unanimously.
  • The resolution in particular calls for increasing awareness “about the effects of nuclear weapon test explosions or any other nuclear explosions and the need for their cessation as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world”.
  • The resolution was initiated by Kazakhstan together with several sponsors and cosponsors to commemorate the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site on August 29, 1991.
  • Following the establishment of the International Day against Nuclear Tests, in May 2010 all state parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons committed themselves to “achieve the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons”.
  • Purpose of this day: (i) To Promote peace and security world – wide and calls for urgent need to prevent nuclear catastrophes to avert devasting effects on humankind, environment and the planet. (ii) To Highlight urgent need for cessation of nuclear weapons as one of the means of achieving the goal of a nuclear – weapon – free world.

2.National Sports Day

Context: To commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand, National Sports Day was celebrated across the country on 29 August, 2019.

Significance of the Day:
  • The National Sports Day is celebrated on 29 August, on the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand, who is regarded as nation’s greatest hockey player of all time.
  • Stressing the need to stay fit and healthy, this day is observed to spread awareness on the importance of sports and daily activities in every individual’s life.
  • On this day, President of India honours eminent sports personalities with major awards including Khel Ratna, Arjuna Awards, Dronacharya Awards and Dhyan Chand Award.
  • Other than spreading awareness on the importance of sports, the special day also highlights the achievements and contributions of Chand to India’s rich sports history and culture.
  • The Indian government over the years has launched many schemes related to sports on this day including the Khelo India scheme in 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This year the Government has launched the Fit India Movement.

3.Two New Eel Species

Context: Two new species of eel viz., Gymnothorax andamanensesis and Gymnothorax smithi has been discovered recently by scientists from Zoological Survey of India

About Gymnothorax Andamanensesis:
  • It is a short brown un-patterned moray eel and two specimens of this eel were caught at 2-metre deep waters in the south Andaman coast by the scientists.
  • After a detailed study scientist identified the specimens as a complete new species, which was acknowledged by scientific journals.
  • Till now, 10 species of short brown unpatterned moray eels have been discovered in the world, out of which two were found in Indian waters.
  • With this new discovery, the number of short brown un-patterned moray eels discovered from the Indian coast has increased to three.
About Gymnothorax smithi:
  • It is a new white-spotted moray eel, now named ‘Gymnothorax smithi’. Its first specimen was found from the 200-metres deep waters of the Arabian Sea in 2011. Recently, a few more specimens of this undiscovered species were collected from the southeastern Arabian Sea, off the Kerala coast.

4.Campaign Angikaar

Context: Union Minister for Housing and Affairs has launched ‘angikaar’ a campaign for change management.

About Angikaar:
  • Angikaar has been launched for social behaviour change, focusing on issues such as water & energy conservation, waste management, health, tree plantation, sanitation and hygiene for beneficiaries of completed houses under PMAY (U)
  • This will be done through community mobilisation and IEC activities. For this purpose, the campaign will converge with schemes and Missions of other Ministries dealing with these subjects.
  • The convergence would especially focus on Ujjwala for gas connection and Ayushman Bharat for health insurance to the beneficiaries of PMAY (U).

5.E-course on Vulnerability Atlas

Context: Union Minister for Housing and Affairs has launched e-course vulnerability atlas of India.

  • The e-course on Vulnerability Atlas is offered by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs in collaboration of School of Planning & Architecture (SPA), New Delhi and Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC).
  • It is a unique course that offers awareness and understanding about natural hazards, helps identify regions with high vulnerability with respect to various hazards (earthquakes, cyclones, landslides, floods, etc.) and specifies district-wise level of damage risks to the existing housing stock.
  • The e-course will be a tool for effective & efficient disaster mitigation & management in the field of Architecture, Civil Engineering, Urban & Regional Planning, Housing & Infrastructure Planning, Construction Engineering & Management and Building & Materials Research.


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